Shoreham airshow crash pilot was 1,000 feet too low for loop-the-loop, prosecutors say

Shoreham air crash pilot Andy Hill was flying far too low to safely perform the flying stunt that led to the deaths of 11 people, a court has heard.

A memorial following the tragic incident
A memorial following the tragic incident

Speaking at Hill's trial this morning, prosecutor Tom Kark QC said: "The height at which the aircraft was horizontal was too low, probably by as much as a thousand feet below the height required safety to complete that manoeuvre."

Not only was Hill too low, the prosecution told the court, but he elected not to safely disengage from the stunt.

Mr Kark said: "There was a straightforward escape manoeuvre that could be performed.

"Mr Hill caused the aircraft to commit to the loop and go nose down towards the vertical descent."

Pilot Andy Hill, 54, of Standon Road, Buntingford, faces 11 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The prosecutor said: "Any air crash, involving pilot error, will normally involve a competent and skilled pilot.

"The prosecution case is that Mr Hill, on this occasion fell far below his usual standards."

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‘Pilot error’ led to tragedy which claimed 11 lives